2020 Maine QSO Party is September 26-27th!

Mark your calendars!

The 8th annual Maine QSO Party will take place the weekend of September 26-27, from 1200 UTC on the 26th, through 1200 UTC on the 27th. Last year’s overall winner was Stefania Watson K1GJY, of Saco, Maine.

The contest is designed to encourage Maine stations to expand their knowledge of DX propagation on the HF and MF bands, and improve their operating skills, and station capability by participating a competition in which W/VE, and DX stations have the incentive to work Maine.

The contest takes place on the 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, and 10 meter bands, and allows for phone and CW for modes.

For an exchange, stations in Maine send signal report and county, while stations outside of Maine, but within either the United States or Canada, send signal report and state/province. DX stations send signal report and “DX.”

For scoring, contacts with stations in Maine are worth 2 points. Contacts with stations outside Maine are worth 1 point. Multipliers are the same for all participants: Use Maine counties (16), States (50), Canadian Provinces (14), and DXCC entities as multipliers. You may work any station once on each of the two modes, on each of the six contest bands.

The Maine QSO Party is a fun contest that offers categories for operators of all skill levels and station capability. Also similar to DX contests like the Canada Day contest or YODX, its open to all contacts as long as the proper information is exchanged. Stations outside of Maine are not required to work only Maine stations for credit, as is the case with most QSO parties. This being said, its important that as many Maine stations as possible are active, and it would be really nice to have participation from all 16 counties. So far, the competition has seen most Maine participation from the more populated southern counties. Help get the word out and share this on contest blogs and social sites!

For more information, including complete rules, click here.

MEQP_Cartoon

Pre-SET Winlink Drill 08/27/20

Pre-SET_Winlink_Drill

Join us this Thursday, from 7PM-8PM for our “Pre-SET Winlink Drill.”

The purpose will be to relay ICS-213 messages via Winlink, by connecting to the RMS network using any method you prefer. One option is to connect by VHF, through the Maine Packet Network, or you could connect to a Winlink node via HF.

The drill begins at 7PM Thursday evening. In the meantime, if you haven’t used Winlink before, the first step is to download Winlink Express, and click here to follow the instructions for “How To Get An Account.” First time users can find lots of helpful info, including video links on the Winlink.org website.

Once you’re up and running, get familiar with how to send a message, post it to the outbox, and explore the various templates that are available. For this exercise, we’ll use the following templates:

ICS-213_TwoWay_Initial.txt

ICS-213_TwoWay_SendReply.txt

 

Catch you on the air!

73′

Tim
KB1HNZ

ILLW from Owls Head Light, ME

ILLW_2020_text

Join us this Sunday, August 23rd, from 10am-4pm, as the WS1SM team activates Owls Head Light for International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend (ILLW).

The international event, which sees over 500 light houses and lightships activated in over 40 countries, helps promote the preservation of lighthouses and lightships, and at the same time, gives the community an opportunity to experience Amateur Radio.

The Wireless Society of Southern Maine has participated in ILLW since 2011, activating several lighthouses along the Maine coast and Canada. Past activations have included Pemaquid Point Light, Portland Head Light, West Quoddy Head Light, Cape Neddick “Nubble” Light, Spring Point Light, and Rockland Breakwater Light, among others.

The event also qualifies as a Parks on the Air activation, since the lighthouse is located within Owls Head State Park. The POTA number is: K-2399

We plan on operating mostly HF, on 40m, 17m, and 20m throughout the day. For the latest frequencies during the activation, look for WS1SM on DX Summit.

73′

Tim
KB1HNZ

Meeting On-the-Air – This Thursday!

Meeting_D710

Meeting On-the-Air Reminder:

7:00 – 8:00pm on the 147.090 (+ / 100.0 Hz) W1QUI repeater

Join us this Thursday evening, from 7:00PM – 8:00PM on the 147.090 repeater, for our monthly meeting on-the-air.

On the agenda, we’ll be asking if net participants have ever operated HF portable, and if so, what was their most memorable experience, and why.

We’ll also discuss plans to activate Owls Head Lighthouse this Sunday for International Lighthouse & Lightship Weekend (ILLW).

See you there!

73′

Tim
KB1HNZ

Meeting Reminder – This Thursday! 08/13/20

Meeting_Reminder

Please join us this Thursday, August 13th, from 7:00-9:00pm at Wassamki Springs Campground, in Scarborough, for our monthly business meeting.

We’ll be meeting outside, near the Ham Shack (which is the former camp store), so please bring a lawn chair and practice social distancing where possible. Everyone who enters the facility must check-in at the gate with their name and phone number. Also, out of respect of the owners and their customers, we ask that everyone wear a face covering, especially when social distancing cannot be maintained.

The Ham Shack will be open, but because of its small size, only two people will be allowed inside at a time. Attendees are invited to bring their own radio to try out on the air, after the meeting adjourns. There are antennas already installed for HF and VHF.

Our topics for the evening include an overview of the recent W1V 10th Anniversary Special Event, which took place in July, the upcoming International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend (ILLW), which takes place the weekend of August 22-23, a discussion about indoor meeting locations for the Fall and Winter, and Officer Nominations, among others.

See you there!

73′

Tim
KB1HNZ

Pre-SET Simplex Drill

Pre-SET_Simplex_Drill

To get ready for this year’s Simulated Emergency Test (SET), which takes place Saturday, October 24th, we will be doing some on-air drills to focus on different communications skills.

These include passing radiogram messages and other forms of traffic via FM Simplex, FLDigi, and Winlink.

This week we’ll focus on passing radiograms via FM Simplex, similar to what we did on a few occasions during our Self-Quarantine Simplex Drills in the spring, but with a key difference. I’ll dispatch a few messages to participants during the net, instruct them to be relayed to others that I don’t have direct communications with, and afterwards we’ll check for accuracy.

The drill begins at 7PM Thursday evening on 146.580 FM Simplex.

Catch you on the air!

73′

Tim
KB1HNZ

Meeting Announcement – This Thursday!

Meeting_Reminder

MEETING ANNOUNCEMENT
7:00 – 9:00pm at Wassamki Springs Campground
56 Saco Street, Scarborough, ME

Please join us this Thursday at 7:00 PM at Wassamki Springs Campground, in Scarborough, for an informal in-person meeting!

We will be meeting outside near the Ham Shack (which is located at the former camp store). Please bring a lawn chair, and follow social distancing protocol. Out of respect of the owners and their customers, we also ask that everyone wear a face covering.

The Ham Shack will be open, but because of its small space, there will only be two people allowed inside at a time. We plan on setting up an HF radio, so meeting attendees can take turns operating with the Special Event call sign, W1V!

Since we are meeting outside, and the weather forecast is calling for showers Thursday evening, if anyone has an EZ-up that they bring along, that would be appreciated!

See you there!

73′

Tim
KB1HNZ

W1V Special Event Update

W1V_Web_Banner

One week down – One to go!

The WSSM 10th Anniversary Special Event continues through July 25!

The W1V Special Event is off to a flying start! In the first week of activities, we’ve had 12 different operators activating as many as 16 different band slots per day! So far, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday have been the busiest.

Special thanks to the following operators for putting W1V on the air:

Eric Emery, N1RXR
Mike Fandell, N5QYQ
Rick Fickett, K1OT
Susan Bloomfield, WB2UQP
Stefania Watson, K1GJY
Charlie Shepard, W1CPS
Jason Andrews, W1SFS
Brad Brown, KC1JMH
Ronald Dahle, K4FET
Rory McEwen, KB1PLY
Roger Pushor, NK1I

We’ve been active on multiple different bands and modes, including Phone, CW, FT8, PSK31, and even D-STAR. And, this past Saturday, a few club members ventured up to the summit of Mt. Washington, in New Hampshire, to activate it for Summits on the Air (SOTA), where they made over 70 contacts!

If you’re a chaser, be sure to look for W1V on the spotting networks, including DXSummit.fi. Operators are encouraged to spot themselves to help chasers find them.

Stefania, K1GJY reported last night that many stations that she contacted said it was either their second or third band, so they’re definitely looking for us.

Conditions on some of the upper bands haven’t been great, but keep trying. 6 and 10 meters, especially, can be enhanced by Sporatic E openings, which come and go pretty quick.

Keep up the good work, and thanks for helping us celebrate our 10th Anniversary!

73′

Tim
KB1HNZ

If you’re interested in operating W1V during the event, please click here to request access to the operator signup sheet.

W1V Special Event Update

W1V_Web_Banner

On-Air Activities begin at 0000 UTC, July 12th (Saturday night at 8PM)!

Thanks to the everyone who checked-in to our kick-off / coordination net last evening. Some good topics came up, including questions about a script to use, QSL information, logging, and how chasers and operators can earn a certificate.

We’ve created a simple fillable PDF for certificate requests, which is available here.

Tips for operators:

Since this isn’t a contest, it’s okay to self-spot! We suggest spotting on DX Summit to help chasers find you.

Feel free to use social media to post your operating frequencies and modes, and to tell a story about your operating conditions, etc. If you tag us, we’ll be sure to share your posts.

Please use electronic logging, and send your logs, in ADIF format to: kb1hnz@yahoo.com when complete. This is so we can upload to LoTW, eQSL, Clublog, etc.

Operations are not limited to HF. You can get on 6 meters, VHF/UHF, DMR, and D-STAR as well.

Although we don’t suggest any specific frequencies, try to stay around the lower end of the General portion of the bands, when on HF.

We suggest the following for a script:

“This is Special Event station W1V, celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the founding of the Wireless Society of Southern Maine. For information about obtaining a certificate or QSL, please visit www.ws1sm.com

Most importantly, Have fun!

To help encourage participants to activate as many bands and modes as possible, we’re offering certificates to operators as well as chasers. More information can be can be found on the event website.

If you’re interested in operating W1V during the event, please click here to request access to the operator signup sheet.